One thing about doing more of the shopping on your own is that you pay more attention to labels. And you really start to wonder about how things are presented. "Fruit snacks" for kids are an example. They generally say the things contain real fruit juice and are a good source of vitamin C. A better source than what they don't say. I suppose 10% of your child's daily allotment of C isn't bad for a little bag of chewy things, but you pay for that with an insane amount of sugar.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no sugar Nazi (my morning tea or coffee probably contains enough sugar to power the local hummingbird population for weeks). But its kinda crazy to present these snacks as healthy when they really aren't much more healthy than your old-fashioned Hershey's chocolate bar.
Organic foods are a small but fast growing segment of the food industry. I don't think I had even heard of the organic food movement before I met my wife, almost 10 years ago now. Granted, as a certified sandal-wearing graduate of Cal-Berkeley, she had a head start on me. After many years of shopping together and being alternately enlightened or befuddled by the nomenclature, I've begun to garner a better appreciation of all this.
The basics of organic are: no chemical pesticides, no artificial fertilizers, no antibiotics, no growth hormones, etc. etc. As close to natural as possible (there many variations, but let's stick to the simple case for now). I suppose the exemplars of this trend are the grocery stores like Whole Foods. WF sells non-organic stuff as well, but its all pretty clearly labeled. And they are one of the fastest growing grocery chains in the US.
Organically grown food is still a bit boutique. I'm not sure we can feed the whole world this way, but I'm happy enough to do my bit for the environment by spending a little bit more.
Trish had told me that orgo chicken tasted better than regular. Swore by it. To be honest, I'm not sure I was able to tell the difference. But you know where I can tell the difference? A big difference? Beef. Orgo beef tastes better. Whether because its grass-fed or all the other stuff, its just flat tastes better and is more tender (tenderer?) to boot.
So I seek out the natural beef products when shopping. And I treat "fruit snacks" like candy.